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Diversity at Work, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 583

Essay

American workplaces are increasingly becoming diverse and as a result, diversity management has become an important issue for employers. Diversity creates both problems and opportunities for the employers. One of the problems facing employers is communication problem because different cultures and racial groups employ different communication styles. Another problem facing the employer is conflicts that may arise either due to different cultural values and lifestyles or may simply stem from prejudice and stereotypes held by individual or a group of employees (Renee). Another problem facing the employers is the cost-benefit aspects of diversity programs. Sometimes, the costs of diversity programs may discourage the employers from accommodating the otherwise reasonable cultural needs of the employees. At the same time, diversity also creates numerous opportunities for the employers. Companies today are increasingly going global and diverse workplace provides companies with an opportunity to develop a global mindset. Another opportunity for employers is to attract global talent by creating a workplace environment that values diversity (Equality and Human Rights Commission). Another opportunity for employers is to create a positive image in the minds of their targeted customer groups. Customers today are increasingly conscious of the social responsibility behavior of the organizations they do business with.

Employers can use different strategies to manage diversity. One strategy is to provide training and educate employees so that they become better at recognizing their biases and develop more productive working relationships with their colleagues. Another strategy is to provide opportunities to employees to experience different cultures so that they develop greater understanding and appreciation for cultural diversity. The employers may sponsor cultural events or even festivals such as Christmas, Eid, and Diwali. Employers may also offer flexible work arrangements to employees to accommodate their different lifestyles.

Organizations should take measures to incorporate diversity principles into their recruiting and hiring policies. This will help employers better understand the different needs of new recruits and will also ensure new employees have realistic expectations. Some organizations take diversity management seriously but it is not always possible to accommodate employees’ unique cultural needs such as dressing requirements and religious accommodations. In such circumstances, open communication may greatly benefit the organization and increase the possibility of cooperation and understanding from the employees.

Employers should also take steps to prevent discrimination not only because of legal requirements but also because of huge economic costs and harm to reputation. First of all, employers should create a zero-tolerance environment which means any violations are dealt on a priority basis to send a strong message to the employees that diversity-related discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated. Another strategy employers can use is for the upper management to set personal examples (Mayhew). The actions of the upper management will create an organizational culture in which diversity-related discrimination has no place.

Organizations wish to capitalize on diversity because they understand the economic and competitive benefits effective diversity management brings in. Not only organizations are expanding into international markets but are also serving increasingly diverse group of customers in domestic markets. In addition, diverse group of employees also bring in unique perspectives and contribute towards innovative and creative processes. Effective diversity management also means lower risk of expensive lawsuits that also cause harm to corporate image and may turn off a significant proportion of customers.

Works Cited

Equality and Human Rights Commission. Benefits for employers considering equality and diversity. 17 October 2013 <www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/before-the-equality-act/guidance-for-employers-pre-october-10/benefits-for-employers-considering-equality-and-diversity/>.

Mayhew, Ruth. Workplace Programs That Reduce Racism and Discrimination. 17 October 2013 <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/workplace-programs-reduce-racism-discrimination-11533.html>.

Renee, Michelle. Top 10 Diversity Issues at Work. 17 October 2013 <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/top-10-diversity-issues-work-24939.html>.

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